Bulgarian Journal of Psychiatry, 2023; 8(2):16-22
PSYCHOSOCIAL DISTRESS IN ONCOLOGICAL PATIENTS IN THE INITIAL STAGE OF TREATMENT
Natasha Angelova1, Vesislava Bozhanova2
1South Western University – Blagoevgrad
2Private practice – Gorna Oryahovitza
Abstract. The article presents a study of psychosocial distress and depression in cancer patients. One hundred and eighteen persons (N = 118) participated in the study, of whom 79 (66.9%) were women, and 39 (33.1%) were men with inclusion criteria: diagnosed oncological disease in the initial stage of treatment. The subjects were divided into two age groups under 65 years (N = 63; 53.4%) and over 65 years (N = 55; 46.6%). The aim is to comprehend the emotional changes and experiences of the patients in the initial phase of the disease, as well as the problem areas in their lives. All this will contribute to a better understanding of people with a cancer diagnosis and provide adequate and effective psychosocial services. The results of the study showed that patients diagnosed with an oncological disease encounter practical, family difficulties, and experience emotional problems. The emotional problems are less significant for the elderly (over 65 years) than for people below this age; women are significantly more likely than men to report emotional problems. The leading emotional problem for both men and women is anxiety, followed by fear.
Key words: psycho-oncology, distress, depression, anxiety
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